I was hit with a heavy cold or a mild flu or something, so I ended up finishing Telltale Batman 1 & 2 over the weekend. The first one made a stab at detective work, but the second game seemed to be aimed at a much younger audience as far as reasoning goes, which doesn’t seem to combine well with the violence. For example, one of Riddler’s “difficult” puzzles was something like sleep, work, die. Which simply told you in which order to press three buttons.
For the most part I quite liked the games, the second one in particular. The QTE fight scenes were slightly less attractive than I expected based on the contemporary Guardians of the Galaxy, which features the very best QTEs I’ve ever experienced. Batman 1 & 2 QTEs by contrast were slightly less impressive.
Batman 2 did have an important innovation on the QTE concept that I don’t think I’ve really seen before, although it may have slipped my mind. It takes the choose your own path concept to the QTE action sequences. Do you want to shock this enemy or tackle them? Grapple them or throw a table? Pick within a couple of seconds and then have another QTE to make sure the attack actually succeeds. Walking Dead probably already had some of that, just not so explicitly. It shows that there are at least two paths that can turn QTEs from annoying interruptions to (almost?) engaging:
- Make them so good and elegant that they almost feel like discount Devil May Cry combos or like playing an actual space shooter, like Guardians of the Galaxy. Prince of Persia (2008) also kind of did this in the running on rails sections.
- Implement multiple courses of action through QTE (as opposed to act or die), basically the action form of the Telltale dialog system. Batman 2 expands on this in interesting ways.